Cyprus mulling EU Council Turkey veto, says president

There can be no decision favouring a positive agenda regarding Turkey’s relations with the European Union as long as Ankara insists on a two-state solution for Cyprus, according to the island nation’s President Nikos Anastasiades, who left open the possibility of Nicosia exercising a veto at the European Council.

“I am already informing the leaders of the member-states in a letter, that given Turkey’s change of course with its demand for a two-state solution and on its other positions, I do not see that a positive agenda in Turkish relations can be discussed or agreed upon,” he said in an interview with Kathimerini.

His remarks came in the wake of the recent United Nations-backed five-party conference on the Cyprus issue in Geneva, which failed to make any progress after Turkey insisted on a two-state premise for a settlement, in violation of UN resolutions and the decades-long agreed basis of a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation.

“Turkey’s positions on a two-state solution are a leap into the void. It is a position that is not accepted by either the international community or the European Union and is completely outside the terms of the UN Secretary General’s mandate,” Anastasiades said, adding that the rejection of Turkey’s position by the international community or the EU is not accidental. “A similar solution would open Pandora’s box and lead to a domino of negative developments in many countries,” he stressed.

With a new informal conference set, at an unspecified date, Anastasiades said there is an expectation that in the meantime the UN secretary general and other parties will mediate “so that the Turkish side understands the impossibility of its endeavour.”

(A version of this article was originally published by the Kathimerini newspaper and is reproduced by permission.)